Help yourself and others

Teaching 112 to children

Be sure to teach your children how to use the emergency phone number as well. An accident that requires a fast response may happen if the child is alone at home of on their way to school. The best way to teach how to behave in situations like this is to use roleplay. Playing does not cause fear in children and helps them remember what they’re learning.

For example, you might want to roleplay situations in which the child notices someone who has fallen on the street and cannot get up, a traffic accident, fire, or a situation in which someone has stolen the mobile phone of the child’s friend. It is important to teach the child that the first thing to do when calling the Emergency Response Centre is to say what has happened and where. Tell the child that they should listen to and follow instructions given by the rescue coordinator, as the coordinator wants to help the child.

Encourage children to notice and alert others of accidents.

Remind the child that there is nothing scary about calling 112, as it is a place for help and advice, and that the person answering the phone is asking questions to learn more about the situation.

Be sure to tell the child that they can call 112 even if they don’t have any minutes on their card or the phone does not have a SIM card in it – help is always free and accessible.

Explain to the child that in situations that require urgent help, it is very important to call 112, not mom and dad or any of their friends. Explain why the child should not hide or refrain from calling out of fear of punishment.

However, tell the child about cases in which calling 112 is not the correct solution as well. Prank calls clog up phone lines and may mean that someone with a real emergency cannot get help as quickly as needed.